Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “La Noche y Tu” by Mariachi Los Camperos:

I’ve been rereading parts of Chicano Soul by Ruben Molina this week, and there’s a particularly nice passage on pages 58 to 59 in which Max Uballez, who played guitar in The Romancers, describes how he learned to play by mimicking a mariachi band that practiced in his neighborhood. He also talks about holding the record of this song in his hands and imagining holding his own record his hands one day. I love this live performance, but here’s the recorded version in case you’re interested, too. Mariachi is such a wonderful genre.

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Song of the Week: “Bois Barbu” by Grand Veymont

by Douglas Cowie on 19 July 2019

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Bois Barbu” by Grand Veymont:

Last week I posted a song by the wonderful Bess of Bedlam and this week it’s time for a song by the other band I saw a couple of weeks ago in Dalston, Grand Veymont. I went to this gig in the first place because my friend Warren, who knows a lot about certain types of French music past and present (probably future, too, for all I know), suggested that missing it would be a dumb move. It turns out that Warren (as usual) was correct. I spent a certain amount of the set imagining a supergroup where these two wonderful musicians perform with Yo La Tengo, but I spent most of the set absolutely swimming in the rhythms and melodies they created.

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Brambles of Dourlens” by Bess of Bedlam:

Last week I saw Bess of Bedlam at the Servant Jazz Quarters, as part of a bill headlined by Grand Veymont. Her music, as you can hear on this song, pulls folk and baroque influences together with a sense of adventure, and with lyrics that are poetic, playful, and rooted in historical curiosity and feminist politics. It was an enthralling musical performance.

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Song of the Week: “Blockbuster!” by Sweet

by Douglas Cowie on 5 July 2019

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Blockbuster!” by Sweet:

I stumbled onto a Twitter conversation this week, in which the excellent music writer Jon Savage claimed that “Blockbuster!” is better than “White Riot” by the Clash and “Ballroom Blitz“, also by Sweet. So here it is: judge for yourself. I’d also like to point out that the opening is obviously the thing Sloan ripped off inspiration for the opening of the excellent Sloan song, “Money City Maniacs“, a song that appears on a whole album that sounds like a band that’s been listening to tons of Sweet and Thin Lizzy, and is all the better for it.

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